Mercedes: Schumacher misses out on podium

2011 Canadian GP team review

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Schumacher was second with six laps to go but couldn’t keep Webber and Button behind.

Michael SchumacherNico Rosberg
Qualifying position86
Qualifying time comparison (Q3)1’13.864 (+0.05)1’13.814
Race position411
Pit stops44

Mercedes drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

Michael Schumacher144.977125.956125.668123.66398.28798.2597.4104.31121.199130.428125.969121.9596.1795.6749695.85595.702110.361112.093111.318123.578106.469115.623136.923142.426127.24122.666121.69121.451121.084123.528120.808133.45192.64995.008106.036114.738125.39122.46193.32391.98591.61490.82589.21589.27488.27987.57588.02487.08887.52100.82795.18384.96382.81484.36298.943107.664119.371120.87282.59381.22581.19680.71780.35679.88580.8581.49780.04879.138
Nico Rosberg143.501126.573125.174123.45498.92797.79997.284104.558121.705130.917125.882122.07395.47895.5595.86196.19109.94896.58124.881114.586105.897106.373116.27137.549143.417126.887122.293122.49121.53120.926122.892121.577119.85895.976106.606106.643114.565125.33122.88895.50793.20592.09392.33291.11589.27689.40989.0487.98787.30788.90588.687105.248101.23285.83285.45105.077105.42992.627118.62186.3483.17182.88182.49481.64881.6282.30381.07380.07195.635
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Montreal, 2011

Michael Schumacher

Schumacher qualified eighth, complaining of a car problem that cost him time: “I had lost drive momentarily after turn four during my last lap but otherwise I had a clean lap”.

He followed Rosberg’s lead in switching to intermediate tyres – but the return of the rain caught them out and both had to switch back to wets.

When the race restarted he tried to pass Rosberg at the final chicane but couldn’t make it through.

He switched to intermediates on lap 34 – two laps before Rosberg – and gained several places by doing do, moving up to seventh.

On lap 42 he took an advantage of a mistake by Mark Webber to take sixth, which became fifth after Paul di Resta hit Nick Heidfeld.

Three laps later he used DRS to pass Heidfeld. He quickly caught the battling Kamui Kobayshi and Felipe Massa and took advantage of a mistake by the Sauber driver to pass the pair of them.

After switching to slick tyres he came under pressure from Webber and Jenson Button. Equipped with DRS, it was only a matter of time before they passed him.

He took the final restart well and even had a look at passing Vettel, but soon fell back into the clutches of his pursuers.

First Button, then Webber picked off the Mercedes. That left Schumacher a season-best fourth but still yet to stand on the podium following his 2010 comeback.

“I am leaving this race with one eye laughing and one eye crying, as I am not sure if I should be excited or sad about it,” he said.

“Having been in second place towards the end, I would obviously have loved to finish there and be on the podium again”.

Michael Schumacher 2011 form guide

Nico Rosberg

Rosberg was fastest in the first practice session and later said Mercedes had made progress with their tyre wear problem:

“I’m pretty confident that we can do better in the race, certainly compared to our pace in Monaco. We’ve put in a lot of work on race performance and I hope we can translate that”.

The wet running meant we didn’t get to see if the W02 would treat its tyres any better.

Pitting later than Schumacher for intermediates hurt him badly. He was hit by Adrian Sutil and then passed by the two Williams drivers.

After the final restart he got past Jaime Alguersuari and Rubens Barrichello as they were held up by Kamui Kobayashi. That left him seventh.

With three laps to go he hit Kobayashi trying to pass the Sauber, damaging his front wing, and allowing Felipe Massa past.

The wing came off on the final lap and he was unable to prevent Alguesuari, Barrichello, and Sebastien Buemi all passing him, leaving him out of the points.

Nico Rosberg 2011 form guide

2011 Canadian Grand Prix

    Browse all 2011 Canadian Grand Prix articles

    Image © Mercedes

    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    116 comments on “Mercedes: Schumacher misses out on podium”

    1. Elliot Horwood
      13th June 2011, 18:06

      Doesnt really help. make the graph so it goes from like 100 seconds to 300 seconds please!

      1. If I did that you wouldn’t be able to see any of the race lap times…

        1. Can you do interactive axis scales? It would be good to be able to zoom in and out.

      2. It’s not bad at all, Elliot. If you can’t discern Schumacher’s times from Rosberg’s times, it simply means those times very identical (up to 0.5 of a sec). For more detail just drag the cursor over it.

    2. I was gutted for Schumacher, it was great to see him going so well, but I really wanted to see him on the podium.

      1. This was maybe the first time I supported him since his comeback. I really wanted to see him on the podium.
        For me, the second best driver after Button yesterday.

        1. I am still being on a bit of a doldrum of maybe even voting Schu for man of the race.

          This was the Schumacher we all expected to see when it was announced he would return, a podium would have been major. Shame the Mercedes eats its tyres to fast for him to be able to defend in the last few laps.

          1. If you watch the restart schumacher is on it so much more than anyone else. The one with rosberg in front of him was brilliant he had his front wheels next to rosbergs cockpit as ros went over the line. He was using every inch of the track that the regulations allowed, unlike every other driver (that i saw) who had almost a car bettween them and the car infront.

            DC even commented that he thought that was wrong only to be corrected by MB that it was perfectly allowed in the regulations. As confirmed after schumachers over take on alonso at monaco 2010. That time he was penalised but only because it was the last lap and the fia said that technicaly the safety car was still out. Even though it wasn’t even though there were green flags. lets not get into that though brilliant drive.

            1. I suspect DC isn’t the biggest Schumacher fan.

              Martin isn’t either, but least he gives credit where it’s due.

        2. I haven’t supported Schumacher at all since 1994, but even I wanted to see him on the podium. It’s been a bit depressing to watch him struggle so much since returning to F1.

        3. How can Button have been your best driver? If it weren’t for many safety cars, two of which he partly caused he’d have been nowhere.

          1. That’s a nonsense statement, given that he worked his way through the field 3 times.

            1. Old_boy_racer (@)
              14th June 2011, 14:01

              Why was he behind in the first place?

    3. Schumacher was robbed of the podium by the “push to pass” button…
      Nontheless, it was super nice seeing him upfront fighting with the RBRs and McLarens.

      Oh, and he was the overtaker of the race! No doubt about it. He kept his cool amazingly.

      1. My exact same thoughts; DRS needs to go. Mike raced an awesome race and should have been on the podium.

        1. dyslexicbunny
          13th June 2011, 18:17

          I think it really needs to be dependent on the circuit.

          At the same time, Button wouldn’t have won without it. At least taking 7 points off Vettel could make the championship closer.

          1. At the same time, Button wouldn’t have won without it.

            So? Was he meant to win or what?

            If Vettel scores four times more points than abybody else, then that’s just what it is. I don’t want artificial means to make it different by sacrificing the realness of the races.

            The Schumi/Button/Webber battle at the last laps would’ve been fantastic: dramatic… and real.

            1. DRS already sacrifices realness. People hate seeing top cars stuck behind the midfield being unable to pass. Yet people hate seeing top cars overtake each other with it for the loss of a great battle. You don’t get it both ways.

              I’m honestly not sure that Button or Webber would have been in a position to challenge Schumi without DRS to get through the field as easily as they did. I think they would have been catching him but far enough back to never make it happen.

              Unfortunately, I can’t be sure of that. I wanted to look at Keith’s detailed analysis article but I couldn’t find it.

        2. Completely agree. Schumacher had a fantastic race but was helpless. DRS was too powerful at Montreal and robbed him of a deserved podium. Holding off faster cars for as long as he did really made him deserve at least 3rd.

        3. I think double DRS zone was not the problem. I think the issue was FIA had only one detection point for activation of DRS. This left Schumi a sitting duck as there was no chance for him to fightback.
          If there were 2 detection points for DRS Schumi could have fought back ( or atlast tried) to get back at Button/Webber

      2. Could not agree more they would never have passed him without that. He was my driver of the race, loads of overtaking without taking anybody out, and pushing incredibly hard.

      3. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        13th June 2011, 19:05

        Agree… Let’s ban DRS

        1. Ya, agree with getting rid of the DRS as with these tyres we don’t need it, bin the Kers too and if anyone is at the next race with rain please try to sabotage the safety car as I couldn’t bare to sit through it doing it’s best to destroy a great race again.

          As for Schumi so close and got to admire him after the restart having a go at Vettel, as most times the driver seems to be left way behind the leader on the restarts.

        2. I couldn’t agree more, let’s ban DRS! The Pirelli tyres are enough for making a good show, I’m glad the FIA is trying extreme solutions to help the show but fast-degrading tyres is enough. Schumacher was defenseless and deserved a podium.

          1. “Three laps later he used DRS to pass Heidfeld.” it’s 6 of one and a half dozen of the other.

      4. If he was robbed by push to pass, as you claim, why didn’t he just push to re-pass on any of the subsequent laps.

        Because his car was slower than the car that passed him.

        You are trying to argue that faster cars overtaking slower ones is theft. You are wrong. You are arguing for the broken, unsatisfactory aerodynamics of the Trulli Train, your position is clearly untenable.

        On the other hand those that understand the intention of DRS are arguing for the application of science and engineering to help, not hinder, real racing.

        It is unfair that cars in front can deploy dirty air to wash out the wings of their rivals and maintain an otherwise false race position, that is where you should be complaining about robbery.

        DRS, properly tuned and refined, is about untying the arm from behind the back of chasing cars, it is therefore about equality and fairness, a sporting chance.
        It is about using the laws of physics to have proper races, not being held hostage by the laws of physics to have tedious processions.

        1. Very well said.

        2. HounslowBusGarage
          13th June 2011, 20:05

          Nice argument. Not sure I totally agree, but I understand of your depiction of DRS as a balance to dirty air syndrome.

        3. I ma sorry but I don’t see any fairness in using DRS, since only the one behind can use it. Remember Massa vs Rosberg in Turkey? Massa did a good job overtaking Rosberg just before the DRS zone, and then Rosberg came to overtake him back thanks to the DRS system. By not giving the same opportunity to every one it’s not fair, it’s show business.

        4. You are trying to argue that faster cars overtaking slower ones is theft.

          I don’t think he is. I think he’s saying it shouldn’t be so easy. That’s a big difference.

          It is unfair that cars in front can deploy dirty air to wash out the wings of their rivals.

          No it’s not, that’s just the laws of physics. Disturbed air can also give chasing drivers a beneficial tow once they’re close enough.

          I don’t believe DRS can be “properly tuned and refined”. I think we’re only ever going to see DRS allowing unimpressively easy passes – as we saw in Canada, Turkey, China and so on – or it not having a sufficient effect – as we saw in Spain and Monaco.

          The 2011 tyres have done plenty to reduce the limiting effect turbulent air has on overtaking. We don’t need an artificial gimmick like DRS to massively tip the balance in favour of the attacking driver.

          Look at how easily Button went past Schumacher. Is that really what we want overtaking in F1 to look like?

          1. I don’t believe DRS can be “properly tuned and refined”.

            So what if they made the DRS zone a little shorter in Canada?

          2. Of course DRS can be tuned and refined, that is what F1 does, that’s all it does. It is a mutli-billion dollar tune and refine machine.
            They need to run more races to acquire real-world data and correlation, of course they do, it is a work in progress, but once the model starts to properly fill-up, they’ll come up with a more robust and reliable formula for deployment zone length, probably based on some combination of third and fourth derivatives of velocity in likely candidate corners or something. It’s a trivial enough simulation problem, just let the computers figure it out, that’s what F1 does.

            If a car is race-pace faster, it won’t be in the DRS zone for long, it’ll be going away and getting smaller. The only cars getting in trouble will be those getting caught-up by cars behind, for a decade or two we have endured watching them hog a race-position they were not legitimately entitled to by the deployment of a powerful and unfair aerodynamic advantage that was not available to the car behind. An advantage which clearly and demonstrably swamps and overwhelms any corresponding slipstream potential. We only need believe our own eyes to see it is such.

            The development of tuned active aerodynamics is as important as it is overdue.
            It will level the playing field and allow drivers to once again properly and robustly challenge each other, not impotently follow home.
            DRS creates competition on a fair and equal basis. One car generates dirty air, one car sheds drag, they cancel, and we have a proper fair fight on our hands. This is to be welcomed and is to be supported.

            1. So, what in your book is properly tuned and refined? Is it that DRS exactly cancels out the effect of running in dirty air? If so, shouldn’t we give an anti-DRS device to the leading car to cancel out the effect a driver might get from an aerodynamic toe?

          3. I’m starting to come round to your point of view Keith, I’m hesitant to mention now, due to the whole Schumacher thing, but the FIA doesn’t seem to be trying particularly hard to make it work… It should have been obvious to them as it was to many on this site that the zone they chose here would be too much.

        5. Agreed…well said Gold Leaf…and as I state below I wish the physics they use didn’t involve a moveable wing at all, but simply bigger slick tires, ala the 70’s, giving them more mechanical grip and forcing them to run less wing due to the drag said big slicks created, thus reducing the tedious procession effect in what is imho a more apples to apples way than by using DRS.

          1. Yeah ok Keith, I take your point about it not being unfair as Gold Leaf has suggested, that the leading car’s dirty air washes out the trailing car’s wings, it’s just a fact, a law of physics, and can also create tow for the trailing car.

            From my observation though, it seems rare that an F1 car benefits from tow for passing, and it depends on the track, and much more frequent at many more tracks that a car is a lame duck once in another’s dirty air (at least pre-DRS) or even with DRS but when they’re not in the designated DRS zone.

            Anyway I don’t think you disagree with that and I am saying something similar…the big fat slicks of the 70’s would give them more mechanical grip, and they don’t need to be super soft and rapidly degrading…they can be harder and more consistant…but make them big enough that they create great drag down the straightaways, thus forcing teams to run less wing…more consistant tires, more mechanical grip, less wing to depend on and less disturbance of air for the next guy all equals more apples-to-apples seat of the pants racing and no gadgets making the passing too easy.

          2. Indeed they should be allowed to use big grippy tyres. Not a set of tyres that makes the driver feel like they are driving on egg shells.

            1. The cars will look better too. I love the look of some of the seventies cars.

        6. Gold Leaf, you confuse a qualifying session with a race.

          If he was robbed by push to pass, as you claim, why didn’t he just push to re-pass on any of the subsequent laps.

          Because he was slower than Button/Webber. OBVIOUSLY.

          But he had the right to defend his place to the finish in a fair battle.
          He didn’t find himself in front of them by accident. Why do you treat it like if somebody had teleported him unfairly in front of Webber/Button?

          That’s racing – Schumacher raced himself in front of them.
          Cars are ordered on the grid by laptimes in the qualifying session! Not in the race!

          What’s the point of racing if we would artificialy push faster lapping cars in front the slower lapping cars during the race?
          If you are faster than the car you’re following, then battle it out and overtake him. If you can’t – that’s your problem. You shouldn’t have let him overtake you in the first place.
          The first through the finish line is the winner! Not the one who makes fast lap times.
          That’s the crucial distinction here. Think about it.

          1. I post only to agree with you.

          2. Damon…MS raced himself in front of them…but it was as much by the luck of the draw of pit timing etc that can happen on topsy turvy race days like we had in Montreal, and by at one point using DRS to get past NH…live by the sword, die by the sword. In reality, the Merc is not a top 3 car, so in a way circumstances did ‘teleport’ MS in front of MW and JB. In a normal dry weather race without such variable conditions MS would not have been where he was with 10 laps to go…he’s shown us that for a season and a half…NR hasn’t done much better…the car is not top 3…that is a fact…MS has not been doing top 3 drives…that is a fact. Nobody is going around these days putting money on MS finishing ahead of MW and JB, nor even NR.

            MS benefitted from an unusual day in the same way BE would have every Sunday be if he could have his sprinklers. A crapshoot. I think there seems to be more outrage that usual about DRS because it is MS, and because there is a perception that he has come back to his championship form, when in fact he was where he doesn’t normally belong these days thanks to passing NH using DRS, and thanks to the unpredictable circumstances of the day, an unprecedented long day rife with weather, safety cars, and stoppages. If that’s what it takes to make fans stoked about MS’s return, so be it…I guess the same people should now be fans of BE’s sprinkler idea.

            1. Webber and Button did more teleporting than Jim Kirk.

            2. Sorry to disagree here with you Robbie. The fact the track is wet is the same for everybody (both the car in front and the one trying to defend), so Schumacher climb from the back after his disastrous decision to put intermediates right before the heavy rain that stopped the race was completely genuine (they didn’t put any artificial sprinklers to make the race wet), as was Jenson’s early move up through the field. The fact that he has a slower car doesn’t mean he can’t get a podium finish in wet conditions, and the same applies to Rosberg.

              Now, Schumacher’s move on Nick was ridiculous with the DRS. You never know how it would have been without the DRS, but considering he had just made a fabulous move on Petrov the lap before, I believe he would have been able to overtake Nick without it as he was so much faster then. It would have been more difficult and it would have been racing, rather than stupid “push to pass”, but DRS ruined it. The same applies for Button “push to pass” on Schumacher. You never know but I believe that Button would have overtaken both Schumacher and Webber without the aid of DRS, for he was more than 2 seconds faster than them at the end of the race. DRS took away any skill Button might have needed. With Webber I’m not that sure that he would have overtaken Schumacher. It was harder for him as he didn’t have that much top speed, so I believe that DRS might have cost Schumacher that 3rd position. Rules are the same for everybody, so you can’t complain about it, but while Schumacher had to push up the field naturally (except for that stupid push to pass on Nick), the rest of the drivers overtook him helplessly with an artificial advantage (DRS).

              I guess you’re right in the fact that people are complaining so much about DRS because Schumacher lost his podium finish as a consequence of it. However Keith has already defended that DRS is not good since China and so have I (even before the start of the season I believe it’s unfair). And you have to agree with us, that last Sunday the DRS zone was absurdly long. It didn’t look like Button was passing Schumacher, it looked like Jenson was lapping Michael. And the same applies to the pass of Schumacher on Nick, and so many others in the dry. Again, I believe the FIA were lucky that we had a wet race, otherwise we should have only seen this shameful push to pass, and I believe that’s what we’ll keep seeing this year if the keep on having such long DRS zones. What about Monza? will we see three different DRS zones? that could be the most stupid thing they’ve ever done.

            3. Talking about artificial advantages and disadvantages. What do you think about safety cars? In my opinion a safety car at the end of the race artificially cuts down all the advantage that drivers have been building up throughout the race with hard work. Again, it’s the same rule for everybody, so nobody can complain about it, but for me it makes an artificially exciting end of the race (like Nascar).

              If you look at all the driver differences after Alonso’s crash with Button (Keith kindly posted in an article called “How Button went from last to first in 30 laps”), you’ll realize that Button had a dry setup (they probably changed it during the red flag), while Schumacher and Vettel had a wet setup. That’s why Button was so incredibly quick by the end of the race but he lost quite a lot of ground after Alonso’s crash (I know he had to pass several cars, but so had Schumacher, and the drivers that Schumacher was overtaking were faster than the ones Button was overtaking – as they were in front – and therefore more difficult to pass in theory). Button was 12s behind Vettel when the race re-started after Alonso’s crash and 9s behind Schumacher. Yet he was 28s behind Vettel and 17s behind Schumacher when he pitted 11 laps later, with 19 to go.

              Then a safety car comes out, and Vettel and Schumacher lose all their advantage over Button and Webber. They (Sebastian and Michael) probably had the fastest cars for 50% or 60% of the race (as was proved by the series of fastest laps that they both produced with the intermediate tires when they had clear track in front of them), and still they had a minimal advantage over Button with a much faster car for the last few laps. And they should have had even more wet laps. How many laps did they make behind safety car at the re-start, drying a circuit which was not that wet? 8, 9? That cut down the wet laps of a race that should have been mostly wet. Anybody who says that Button deserved this race and it was fair that he won it should consider this before talking. He did a great job – helped by the circustances – in the last few laps, but doing the best last 10 laps on the fastest car does automatically mean that you have to win the race regardless what happened before? The rules are the same for everybody, so thumbs up for Jenson as he managed to take advantage of them and others didn’t, but it doesn’t mean it was fair.

            4. Safety cars and DRS is why I didn’t like this race that much: we had an artificially exciting end of the race (thanks to so many safety cars and interruptions) with artificial overtaking (thanks to DRS). Compare it with China. There, we had no safety car so the final battle was real, because different cars, different strategies and different drivers led to approximately identical results towards the end of the race. We even saw real moves there (like the one of Hamilton on Vettel for the lead) because the DRS zone was not so ridiculously long (still I disliked it). That race for me was easily a 9 or a 10. Not this one and I was surprised (and disappointed) that so many people voted it a 10 after all. Maybe FIA should consider importing more artificial rules from America, like they did with safety car, as it seems that this is what people like. I wonder if it had been the other way round (Button in the lead with a huge margin over Vettel and pulling away with a wet setup, while Vettel is on a dry setup, and then a safety car that puts it in the hands of Vettel and eventually wins the race thanks to a mistake by Button) people would have still given it a 10. It was just a 6 or a 7 for all the battles we saw in the wet, but no more than that, no matter who got the victory.

            5. Regarding the safety car issue… I understand the safety issues, and I believe it’s better than a red flag and a re-start, but isn’t there any other way to achieve the same result without changing the outcome of the race? Something like having additional speed limit button (to 150-200km/h in stead of the 80-100km/h they have now) that they should use everywhere in the circuit during the dangerous conditions except the area where accident happened where they should limit it to 80-100km/h.

              They say that they would overheat the engines, but if the kept going at such a limited speed, but if they had that addition speed limiter with a velocity similar to the speed that the safety car carries (150-200) I don’t think it should be any more dangerous than it is now for the engines. And I think it would be a much fairer solution than cutting down the advantage of the leaders.

              With so many crazy ideas going on in F1 right now I believe that the reason nobody is thinking this way is because spectators prefer artificial excitement at the end of the race even if it means throwing the earlier efforts of the driver to the bin.

        7. If he was robbed by push to pass, as you claim, why didn’t he just push to re-pass on any of the subsequent laps.

          Because his car was slower than the car that passed him.

          Just because one car/driver is faster than another does not mean it has a right to be ahead of it.

          Some of the greatest drives in f1 history has been because a driver in an inferior/slower car was able to hold off drivers in faster cars.

          Racing is about defending just as much as its about attacking/passing. If you take away the possibility of a slower car been able to drive defensively to hold off faster cars then its no longer racing.

          Watching Button & Webber simply drive clean past Schumacher because of DRS with Schumi able to do nothing to stop them to me wasnt racing, it was ridiculous & frankly an Embarrassment.

          A driver driving the wheels off a slower car to get towards the front should be rewarded & applauded, Yet with DRS there brilliant driving is penalised as soon as they get to the DRS zone & in my opinion that isn’t correct.

          1. I think DRS should not have been allowed in Canada , or other circuits where passing without it is possible.

            1. To that, I fully agree!

          2. You worded it perfectly StefMeister!

          3. StefMeister…while I agree with you that some of the greatest drives in F1 have been from a driver in an inferior car holding back a faster car/driver, the way it has been in F1 for years now is that the cars have been so aero dependant that the trailing car is handcuffed due to the physics of the modern F1 cars and the decision as to how much wing/downforce they can generate due to the regs, which to me has made the holding back of a faster car down to that, the physics of aero dependancy, much moreso than being down to the skill of the leading driver in the slower car. Sure the lead car still has to make itself as wide as possible at times, and not make a mistake, but in general once the trailer is close to the leader the dirty air factor takes over.

            So while I fully agree racing is as much about defending as it is about passing, the defending has been ‘artificial’ due to the over-dependance on downforce.

            That’s why if I would prefer to see no DRS, and a reduction in the amount of wing teams can use ie. a reduction in downforce combined with grippier tires…that way a slow car/driver can only hold back a faster car/driver through skill and not through providing dirty air to the trailing car.

            So I agree DRS should go, but I also think without it MS wouldn’t have been where he was near the end, and a Mac and a Red Bull passing him makes more sense to me as Merc are not a podium team right now. More likely, MS and many others, without DRS, could have been held back by NH and many others for many laps and in general no DRS would have changed the face of the race completely.

        8. I think everybody is saying more or less the same thing. We don’t want overtaking to be impossible and we don’t want it to be a piece of cake either, I think we all agree there.

          Now, about this weekend, I think even Gold Lead can concede

          DRS, properly tuned and refined

          that the DRS area was ridiculously long in Canada. We’ve seen so many good races there in the past because it had just about the right balance of passing/holding. This year it was ruined by the DRS in my opinion. The pass of Button on Schumacher, where he was able to rejoin the racing line (the outside) even before the braking area, was shameful. Looked like he was actually laping him rather than passing. We were lucky to see a wet race that allowed for some real action for a few laps. If it wasn’t for that I’m afraid it would have been completely disgraceful.

          1. Regarding the DRS itself, I agree with Keith here rather than Gold Leaf. If overtaking is impossible (like last year) it might be the only solution – I believe it is better than a race where you know how they’re going to finish on lap 3 unless somebody has a mechanical failure (last year was like that as we didn’t even have different strategies and overtaking was impossible in most of the circuits). However, this year different tire degradation, different tire compositions, and different tire behavior on different cars already allows overtaking in most of the circuits (I loved Hamilton pass on Vettel for the victory in China!), and a wide variety of strategies that makes racing so exciting this year (thanks Pirelli!). DRS is not needed (unless maybe certain circuits like Monaco and Barcelona, and still there most of the passes were outside the DRS area) and in some circuits (like here and Turkey) it just spoils the spectacle.

            Regarding the “fairness” I also agree with Keith point. It is unfair that the driver behind has an artificial advantage over the driver in front (like DRS is). Like Keith said, turbulent air behind any moving object is a natural phenomenon (not an artificial disadvantage). You see it in tennis balls, trains, cars, motorbikes… this turbulent air is what is usually called slipstream and it is a fair advantage that the driver trying to pass has over the guy in front – in motorbikes, trucks and any car race including F1 – if he is close enough in a straight. The difference between motorbikes and F1 cars is that F1 cars rely on artificial aerodynamic devices (wings and diffusor) to generate downforce that is translated into more grip and therefore higher speed in the corner. These devices work better in clear air that in turbulent air. Therefore, what used to happen in F1 was that the car behind could not get close enough to the guy in front in the high speed corners, and thus was not close enough in the straight to take advantage of the slipstream to overtake unless he was much faster than the guy in front (that does not happen with motorbikes since they don’t have aerodynamic devices). This year, we see large difference in the car’s performance throughout the race (of seconds rather than tenths) so overtaking becomes possible again.

            Before the tires started playing this role, the FIA has tried several solutions throughout the years to promote overtaking. Most of them tried to make the cars more dependent on mechanical grip – suspension and weight distribution – rather than aerodynamic grip, by reducing the size of the wings and limiting the diffusor shape (that’s why allowing the double diffusor did not make any sense to me), but they were unsuccessful for no matter how much they limited it, engineers always managed to maintain a similar level of aerodynamic grip (if not increase) from one year to the next by playing with the shapes.

            In conclusion, I believe that it is absolutely fair that natural laws (slipstream, turbulent flow, speed difference and the circuit conditions…) determines how hard it is to overtake in a certain circuit, whereas it is really unfair a guy sitting in his office in front of a computer decides how hard overtaking is going to be this time by doing some computer simulations, painting a few lines in the track and giving an unfair and artificial advantage to the guy trying to overtake by means of a magic button. It’s my view (and I believe Keith’s). I obviously respect other opinions, although I’ll never share them.

            1. If overtaking is impossible (like last year)

              yet 2010 saw more overtaking than any season since 1989.

            2. Face21…agree with much of what you are saying but I would disagree that throughout the years the FIA’s solutions have mostly been to make the cars more dependent on mechanical grip…grooved tires were meant supposedly to slow cars down in corners, supposedly for the sake of safety…I never bought that argument personally because to me making less grippy tires is like making racers (they’re always going to be trying to go as fast as possible) race on the equivalent of ice. Grooved tires only forced teams to find more downforce, which is what they have been doing year after year now.

              Now that they finally have slicks back, making one wonder why they went to grooves to begin with, they need to go ahead and keep promoting mechanical grip with restrictions on the amount of wing/diffuser/downforce they can crank into the cars…and no DRS.

            3. Very true Robbie. Not really sure why they introduced grooved tires in 1998. It was interesting to see how teams adapted to them (McLaren did take advantage of them and became the team to beat), but it definitely made overtaking more complicated.

              I was just talking that they generally tried to reduce the dependence of aerodynamic grip of the cars, although sometimes they also reduced the mechanical grip like they did with the grooved tires. Double diffusor on the other hand increased the aerodynamic grip which is also something contradictory.

              Regarding your comment F1_Dave, I didn’t know about that figure, but that was not my point anyway. My point is that ever since I’ve been watching F1 (I’m just 28), overtaking has been absolutely impossible except when rain appeared. Yet some races were still interesting for we had strategy fights (take France 2004 when Schumacher overtook Alonso by making an extra 4th stop). However last year with refueling banned and tires lasting as much as team needed there was no room for alternative strategies and everybody was on the same strategy in the end. With overtaking being pretty much as hard as always before, in most of the circuits you already knew the result by lap 3 unless somebody had a mechanical failure. For me, 2010 was probably one of the worst F1 seasons that I’ve seen. It was only interesting because the fastest car (Red Bull) managed to nearly lose it by making so many mistakes throughout the season, and only a miracle and a disastrous Ferrari strategy gave them the crown the speed of their car deserved.

            4. Not really sure why they introduced grooved tires in 1998.

              The aim was to reduce cornering speeds for safety reasons.

              some races were still interesting for we had strategy fights (take France 2004 when Schumacher overtook Alonso by making an extra 4th stop)

              I’d far rather have seen him have to overtake Alonso on the track, which he’d much more likely have to do in the current era of refuelling-free races.

            5. Agree with that Keith, although I still I prefer tactical overtaking like that one than dull DRS passing, don’t you think? at least with tactical overtaking there’s some sort of skill involved (even if it’s intellectual) whereas DRS in Canada…

            6. Chill guys, it hasn’t been around that long. Still got to learn where it works and doesn’t work yet.

        9. As a scientist I take issue with your statement, about science being used to help real racing.

          It was too hard to pass before, yes. Is it right to artificially give the following car a leg-up to help them pass the one in front, no. What’s the solution? Let the teams use science and engineering how they choose to equally try and pass/keep another car behind maybe? How you ask? How about moveable aero that adapts to the airflow it sees. Or at the least aero aids the driver has to activate be given to all drivers all the time. Complex systems are difficult to use, and their misapplication creates overtaking opportunities, much like missing a gear used to.

        10. Exactly. Tools are the same for everyone

        11. Well he was doing a better job of defending
          than they were of attacking. Stretching the car to its limit in those conditions even coulthard said he could not believe how brave michael was being on certain parts of the circiut.Good defending is an art in itself.

    4. dyslexicbunny
      13th June 2011, 18:18

      Tough race for Nico. I think he had everything he needed to be in the top 5 but it just didn’t work out for him.

      Schumi’s been mentioned everywhere too. I feel bad for him.

      1. They are equal on points now. I was surprised when I saw that. I thought Nico would still have a buffer.

    5. Equipped with DRS, it was only a matter of time before they passed him

      Far from improving the racing in this case it destroyed any tension that was building in the battle for 2nd by making it far too easy to pass Schumacher. He’d done a brilliant job to get into second place was defending immaculately yet he had no chance because the cars behind had the advantage a artificial gimmick. Button and Webber may well have passed him without DRS, but that’s not really the point. If they’d passed without DRS it would have been really tense and exciting, but instead it left me feeling that we’d been cheated of a genuine battle for position.

      I would find DRS acceptable if it were a a feature that could be used a limited number of times during a race any time a driver wanted to use it. But at the moment it just gives the attacking driver a unfair advantage to try and artificially generate overtaking. Before this race I was still undecided about DRS, now I’m firmly against it.

      1. Yet MS might have never gotten up into 2nd place with 10 laps to go if he hadn’t gotten by Heidfeld using DRS earlier in the race. So MS is brilliant for using DRS to get where he did, but JB and MW used an artificial gimmick to pass MS and boot him off the podium.

        1. That’s true actually, but its not really about Schumacher deserving that 2nd place or not. It’s more about whether we want to see that kind of artificial racing in F1 or not.

          1. You’re right…personally I would prefer less gadgets and more apples to apples racing, that being in the driver’s hands, not according to whether his device worked for him or not, or worked well for him or not…was really just pointing out though that one can’t really complain about MS getting passed so easily near the end due to DRS, when he benefitted from DRS earlier in the race, which is what helped him eventually get up to second place to begin with…unfortunately with DRS these drivers have to live by the sword, but also die by the sword…in reality the Macs and the Red Bulls are superior to the Mercs, so justice seems to have been served somewhat in the end after such a topsy turvy race.

            1. I guess your race ends after qualifying robbie.

      2. DRS has totally ruined F1. Overtaking used to mean something. Even if there was no overtaking there was tension in the chase. Now it’s just a videogame gimmick. If both drivers could use it at the same time it would not be so outrageous, but still wouldn’t be acceptable.

        1. But then , may as well not have it at all ?

      3. Not that is was exactly easy for Webber getting past Schumacher. A couple of failed attempts and one having to allow Schumacher to re-take the position later and he finally did it.

    6. Not an MS fan so I was thrilled to see him not make the podium. And I think it is silly to suggest DRS ruined his race, or the race…without DRS the whole face of the season and the race would be somewhat different anyway, and at one point MS used DRS to pass Heidfeld…so…I guess MS fans just want him to have DRS to help him pass cars, but would like to remove DRS for the last 10 laps of Montreal in order to help MS get a podium?

      1. yes it may of helped him pass nick, but he was passing these cars anyway. And passed all of the others without it.

        it cant be denied the drs made a mess of the battle for second. The leading driver should have some attempted to attack back.

        actually i was quite surprised that michael didnt let mark through before the activation zone so he was less than a second behind him and able to use DRS. risky strategy but he was going to get passed anyway.

        1. Just imho MS got by some cars due to pit timing, due to them making errors in front of him, also got by a few with good driving (or was it just luck of the draw that his tires were working better or were the better ones to be on at the time vs. some of those cars he passed), but we can’t assume he would have just passed NH anyway…

          Again though, to say DRS made a mess of the battle for second and then say that MS should have used it more effectively to repass MW, seems like two opposing arguments…

        2. “actually i was quite surprised that michael didnt let mark through before the activation zone so he was less than a second behind him and able to use DRS. risky strategy but he was going to get passed anyway.”

          That actually sounds like an awesome strategy, Q85. If he were to allow Mark to just squeeze through at the hairpin he could’ve KERS’ed and DRS’ed his way well past the RedBull, possibly by more than 1 sec. It may have been very difficult to pull off, but like you said, it was only a matter of time before he was passed anyway.

          1. Except Webber was that much faster that it wouldn’t have worked an Webber would have disappeared off into the distance.

            1. Not sure about that. Webber was definetely faster over the whole lap, no doubt about that. But the Schumacher had very good traction during those laps and with a fully loaded KERS and the DRS available he would most likely have been able to repass Webber on the straight. It would have been incredibly difficult to out-smart Webber lap after lap, but if one driver could pull something like this off it is Schumacher.

      2. MS used DRS to pass Heidfeld… so… I guess MS fans just want him to have DRS to help him pass cars

        You guess wrong. We focus on the Schumi/Webber/Button battle because it happend in the most crucial moment of the race and showcased the failure that is DRS most empthatically.
        DRS was awful in all instances, I don’t care who passed whom.

        1. Fair enough Damon…so you can accept that without DRS there’s a good chance MS wouldn’t have been in that final battle for the podium.

          And let’s face it…is anybody really ready to start putting money down on a Merc reaching the podium other than under extreme circumstances, including weather or unusual unreliability of Red Bull(s), or Mac(s) or Ferrari(s)? Is it acceptable to an MS fan that that is the only way he can get to a podium these days?

          The top 3 drivers in Montreal were in top 3 cars…justice was done in the end…

          1. You have to love the haters. Yeah MS didnt pass anybody without DRS, Massa/Kob pass didn’t happened, also he being the fastest on intermediate tires didnt happen either. Yes, weather is the only way right now for Merc to have a podium ’cause their cars are not as fast as the McLaren’s or RBR’s, and weather makes skill weight a bit more than just a fast car. But don’t worry MSC will be on the first 3 sooner than later.

            1. MS drive to win in F1 is still very much alive , strongly evidenced by the chase after Vettel at the re-start. Let’s wait and hope the Merc becomes as fast as the Mac. , RBR and Ferrari.

        2. Agreed!
          Now they cant use DRS in first few laps of race… same should apply in last few laps of race.. if a leader is followed by second place in final lap of a GP, and gets passed in this “DRS zone” the race is virtually over before they cross finish line..well that was a waste of alot of money to go see a car race..
          BTW,, didnt FIA deem moveable aero as unsafe back in the 60’s with the Chapparal can-am car because of possible failure!?!?.. and now in the safest era of motorsport ever, they are bringing that garbage back… DRS has got to be taken out of F1 in my opinion.. it has ruined my favorite sport..

          1. I too would like to see the removal of DRS, but I think they also need to get away from aero dependancy in general…for too long now we saw slow cars holding up fast cars for lap after lap…in the current format, and without DRS, MS wouldn’t have gotten as high as second, and whoever was the top 3 with ten laps to go would likely have remained in that order at the start/finish line. That kind of a parade has ruined many people’s favourite sport.

            I’m for more passing, but not too much more as I think passes should be rare and special in F1, but I think they should achieve it with large slick tires like they used in the 70’s…the large slicks created so much drag down the straightaways that teams were forced to run less wing to achieve any kind of respectable speeds…thus in one move you kill two birds…bigger slicks equals more drag and more mechanical grip which equals less wing needed/wanted which equals less disturbance of the car when in someone’s dirty air due to running lesser wings. That to me would be more apples to apples racing than who was able to use DRS and when.

    7. If the last one was Schumacher’s best lap in Q3, then he pretty much lost two places because of that momentary drive failure.

      The way Schumacher approached the race was like he did it in his ‘first career’. He was precise, ruthless, stubborn, yet controlled. Fantastic performance from him, I really wanted to see him on podium.

      I wonder if his recent revival since Spain continues and culminates in one of the best team mate competition of the year. If he maintains this form, Mercedes will be more than blessed with a top notch driver pair, unlike everyone else in the field – except maybe McLaren.

      1. I might be wrong but since spain I think Michael has started to show signs of his old self I just hope it continues.

    8. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      13th June 2011, 19:02

      Schum would have made it if he wore the blue livery, but Mercedes needs imrovement NOW! Nico is as well another great driver who’s not able to win because of the car performance. It was great to see Schum spark glaring again. And now we can start to realize that his three years plan to be on the top again is not so bad or unreal as we thought it could be. He just need the CAR

      1. The CAR and a topsy turvy wet-weather race with lots of stoppages and safety car laps…ie. I wouldn’t look to this race as meaning the 3 year plan has now come to fruition.

    9. This cost Schumi the race:

      “He followed Rosberg’s lead in switching to intermediate tyres – but the return of the rain caught them out and both had to switch back to wets.”

      1. That basically happened to all drivers as they realized wets were no longer needed and were costing lap time…seems like the return of not just rain, but heavy rain, caught them all out. Later on, with yet another safety car, MS was one of the first to pit, I think back to intermediates from wets which all drivers were needing to do again, and that’s how he got ahead of NR.

      2. It was the very lap after Schumi put inters on that it started raining heavy. You would have thought Merc could have known that with the rain so incredibly close, fair enough with Nico it was a lap earlier but with Schumi was strange.

        Don’t think it cost him cause at end even if he was in first place as prob would have been the safety car would have bunched them up leaving the 3 fast cars to pass him at end instead of two.

      3. I don’t think it cost him the race. Vettel would still have been at the front after any one of the safety cars. Even if MS somehow ended up in front of him, how long do you think he could keep Vettel’s Red Bull behind him? He’d have just flown by like Webber and Button.

        1. Given the amount of experience on team Merc there’s no excuse for losing 40+ seconds in the pits to unnecessary tire changes. Especially when all one has to do is look up from the computer monitor to see the rain coming. The time MSC lost on tire changes was far more than he would’ve lost otherwise. And, if you subtract 40 seconds, or thereabouts, from where he finished, he definitely would’ve been on the podium, if not better.

          1. Except that 40 seconds too would have been negated by the safety car.

            1. You may be right, and we’ll never know for sure one way or the other. But all are good points.
              I like how the weather conditions leveled things a bit for Schumi. It shows he’s not as far off as some like to think, or perhaps that those leading aren’t quite as good as they appear.

    10. Lee Harrison
      13th June 2011, 19:23

      First time since his comeback that I saw what looked like the old Schumacher, though there have been signs in the past few races. Hopefully this isn’t just a one-off.

    11. The merc is an handful and is just not quick enough,put schu in the red bull and then see what he would do with it.

      1. Or NR, or FA, or LH, or JB, or FM, etc etc…

    12. well, although the mercedes is not the best car on the grid you can still compare MSC to ROS.

    13. I wonder why Nico pitted so late, that really ruined his race. Why didn’t Mercedes bring him in first, since he was ahead of Schumacher at the time? I thought it was pretty much common practice to give the driver ahead on track the advantage of stopping first if both are on the same strategy.

      1. Wow, that must have really been understeering, haha.

      2. In this footage you can see where he loses the wing;

        1. Amazing stuff. Looks like he went too high over the kerb.

      3. He was trying a revolutionary new low downforce setup.

    14. Was thrilling to see Michael just nailing the line over those last few laps, brought back memories. He was always going to get caught by Webber and Button, and with DRS he was always going to get overtaken, but that’s for another day. It was still a briliant drive. I don’t think Rosberg was terrible, but seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when the pit decisions were being made, but he was good in quali, and he’ll be back on form in no time. Just wanna see Michael lead a race or even win one!

      1. They were both quick in qualifying, only half a tenth between them.

    15. Almost Schumacher, almost. You could see it in his face before he said about not knowing whether to be happy or cry.

      I think seeing him on the podium would have been marginally better than Kobayashi simply because the Sauber driver has time on his hands.

      Rosberg was quieter than usual.

    16. Best race since his comeback last year.Not sure why he struggled in the closing stage of the race.The way he raced today we all have a glitch of his hay days.Though disspointed of him not getting the podium,I hope this race give him motivation for more hunger in the coming races.

    17. Now i was one of the few people who only started to watch Formula 1 after Schumi’s “Reign” as i was too young then.

      But im going to assume his double pass on Kobayashi and Massa was just as good :)

    18. Maurício Fonseca
      14th June 2011, 17:50

      With a little bit of luck, he will never get to a podium again.

    19. Oh please. The DRS system is available to everyone. If car A is passed with this aid, it can simply re overtake the overtaker on the next lap….. so what is the argument here?????

      1. Except at Canada, where there was a double-dip DRS zone to allow the car that had just passed DRS-assisted to get further away and clear the car behind out of their 1s DRS activation range you mean?

    20. Schumacher should have made Webber pass him right before the DRS zone so he would have been the car behind and within the one second.

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